When the weather warms up, it’s a good time to start preparing for a new season of outdoor entertaining. This summer, learn how to wow your guests with elegant, organic inspired table settings. In addition to setting a festive table, follow a few easy tips to transform your patio, porch, deck or backyard into a welcoming, comfortable outdoor oasis.
Expand your living space
Summer is the best season for entertaining family and friends, as the comforts of indoors are expanded outdoors with functional outdoor kitchens, dining areas and conversation areas. Creating a comfortable ambiance in outdoor living spaces is the first step in becoming a successful and popular host or hostess.
Celebrate summer with organically themed tablescapes. Use whatever you can find around your home then supplement what you don’t have at your local nursery, grocery store, craft store, dollar store or thrift store.
Citrus Themed Table
Fresh citrus fruits make colorful summer themed table settings. With a few tall glass vases or containers and fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruit, you can create simple, fresh centerpieces. Here are a few ideas:
- Fill a glass vase with one type of whole citrus fruit and color coordinate the rest of the table with that fruit, such as a vase of lemons with yellow flowers, yellow candles and tableware with yellow or lemon designs.
- Slice the fruit into round discs or just in half to display the inside. Arrange them in a vase so the insides show and add water and flowers.
- Arrange citrus fruit on a cake stand. Add in flower blossoms in coordinating colors.
- Fill glass bowls and containers partially with water. Add citrus fruit slices and floating candles.
- Scatter whole citrus fruits along a table runner. Add glass containers with sliced fruit and flowers.
Beach Themed Table
You don’t need a seaside cottage to create a beautiful beach or ocean themed table setting but being near the ocean certainly comes in handy when gathering organic materials. If you can’t find the exact materials for these ideas, improvise with what you can find:
- Cover an outdoor table with an unused fish net or fashion the net into a table runner. Place a large seashell or piece of coral in the center as a centerpiece. Scatter smaller shells and candles along the center.
- Fill a large glass bowl with sand. Add candles, seashells, small pieces of drift wood. Place folded blue napkins on each dinner plate and place a starfish or clamshell in the middle of each plate.
- Place seashells in the bottom of several glass vases. Fill halfway with water and add floating candles.
- Place a large candle in the middle of a cake stand. Surround the candle with assorted seashells.
Coordinate your ocean inspired centerpiece displays with table linens and serveware in various shades of blue, aqua, turquoise, sea foam green, white and tan. If you can find them, clam shaped plates and dishes add a nice touch.
Island or Tropical Themed Table
Lush greenery and exotic floral accents helped transform your outdoor table and dining area into a tropical retreat.
- Fill a tall glass vase or several vases with tropical greenery such as banana leaves, calathea leaves, bamboo foliage or palm fronds.
- Include tropical flowers such as bird of paradise, orchids or anthurium flowers.
- Display tropical fruit on a cake stand, in a basket or on a platter such as pineapple, bananas, mango, passion fruit, papayas and pomegranates.
Coordinate tropical themed centerpieces with bright, colorful table linens and serveware and bamboo or raffia placements. Serve tropical drinks garnished with orange and pineapple slices and cocktail umbrellas.
Continue the lush, tropical theme with an abundance of large potted plants on your patio, deck or around your outdoor dining table. Tropical plants that make good houseplants include umbrella plants, banana trees, indoor palm plants and rubber plants.
Set the mood with accent lighting.
Create a comfortable and welcoming ambience with plenty of accent lighting.
- Set candle lanterns on dining tables, end tables, porch or patio steps, porch railings and hang them from small trees.
- Run string lights around the perimeter of covered patios or porches. Wrap them around small trees and shrubs.
- Hang paper lanterns from a porch or patio ceiling.
- Light scented candles in the bathroom and entryway.
When dinner is over…
- Add pillows and cushions to outdoor seating furniture for extra comfort.
- Group chairs, benches and chaise lounge chairs together for comfortable conversation areas.
- Consider including a fire pit.
Make the most of your outdoor living spaces this summer.